Project Owner’s right to pursue claims directly against Engineer’s subconsultant. City of Whiting v. Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani, LLC. United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana (2015), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: The City of Whiting, on Lake Michigan, retained Structurepoint as its consulting engineer on a lakeshore park, marina, and shoreline protection project. Structurepoint in turn retained WBCM as a subconsultant for portions of the professional services. WBCM designed a shoreline  revetment structure armored with stone. According to the city, during and after construction the […]

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Abandoned Mine Projects Need Better Engineering Expertise, Report Says, by Arthur Schwartz, NSPE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

A federal report on the accidental release of three million gallons of toxic water from an abandoned Colorado mine provides an in-depth, technical look at the incident. It also provides irrefutable evidence that proper engineering expertise is needed to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Two of the three members of the evaluation and peer […]

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EPA Proposes PEs on Risk Management Teams by Arthur Schwartz, NSPE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

Professional engineers may gain a greater oversight role at chemical facilities and others that handle hazardous materials if a proposed rule increasing safety requirements is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA proposes requiring the use of PEs in its Risk Management Programs. This action is in response to catastrophic chemical facility incidents in […]

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Ohio PEs Gain ‘Good Samaritan’ Protections, by Arthur Schwartz, NSPE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

Ohio is the latest state to enact a law that provides design professionals with immunity from liability when they volunteer during a natural or man-made disaster. The legislation (H.B. 17) was cosponsored by state Rep. Louis Blessing III, P.E. It was supported by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, which provided testimony to committees in […]

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Texas Board Expands Global Reach, Permits Early Exam Taking, by Arthur Schwartz, NSPE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

The Texas Board of Professional Engineers has signed a mutual recognition agreement with South Korea and also approved rules to allow licensure candidates to take the PE exam early. TBPE’s accord with the Korean Professional Engineers Association and the Korean ministry that manages and evaluates science and technology policy will allow engineers licensed in Texas […]

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What is the intended scope of services contemplated for your firm as construction manager? by Coy M. Veach, P.E., CCM

Construction Manager is a broad term that is interpreted differently, depending on the market sector, geography and local laws.  In fact, when we describe our role as construction manager, the answer is that our role is whatever our contract says it is.  This role is typically referred to as Construction Manager Agent (CMa) services.  A […]

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Ability of contractor to bring suit involving differing site conditions directly against geotechnical engineering firm, by Hugh Anderson

Issue: Ability of contractor to bring suit involving differing site conditions directly against geotechnical engineering firm. Apex Directional Drilling, LLC, v. SHN Consulting Engineers & Geologists, Inc. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (2015). Summary: Wastewater pipeline project for the City of Eureka, California, using horizontal directional drilling. SHN was the city’s […]

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Did the services of an engineer constitute an improvement to property, and thus entitle engineer to a construction (mechanic’s) lien? by Hugh Anderson

Issue: Did the services of an engineer constitute an improvement to property, and thus entitle engineer to a construction (mechanic’s) lien? Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., v. Heritage Bank of Central Illinois. Supreme Court of Illinois (2015). Summary: Burke Engineering was retained by a prospective developer to survey a tract of land, prepare and record […]

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Issue: Compliance with procedural requirements of performance bond, by Hugh Anderson

Issue: Compliance with procedural requirements of performance bond. Curtiss-­‐ Manes-­‐Schulte, Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (2015). Summary: Curtiss-­‐Manes-­‐Schulte (CMS) was the general contractor on a building project. It subcontracted HVAC work to Balkenbush Mechanical, and required Balkenbush to furnish a subcontract performance bond. Balkenbush […]

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Contractor’s Differing Site Condition claim on project with a Geotechnical Baseline Report, by Hugh Anderson

Issue: Contractor’s Differing Site Condition claim on project with a Geotechnical Baseline Report. King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projets. Court of Appeals of Washington (2015). Summary: $200 million project that included 13 miles of tunnels for wastewater conveyance. Contract included a Geotechnical Data Report (GDR) and a Geotechnical Baseline Report (GBR). The contractor, a […]

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